How to Verify Your Policy Settings

Windows XP ships with hundreds of policy settings that allow administrators or users to adjust many features, such as the appearance of the Start menu, or set restrictions for features that may need to be managed in a medium or large organization. For example, administrators may wish to restrict Remote Assistance or set a specific skin for Windows Media™ Player.

Sometimes it’s necessary to check which policies are in effect for a given computer and user, especially in troubleshooting situations when a given policy may be overridden by another policy.

With Windows XP, users no longer need to run a command line tool to check policies on their computer. Now any user can obtain a graphical report directly from the Help and Support Center.

To check policies in effect on your computer

  1. Click Start, click Help and Support Center.

  2. Under Pick a Task, select Use Tools to view your computer information and diagnose problems. 

  3. Click Advanced System Information, then click View Group Policy settings applied. 

When system information is collected, results appear on the screen. This report can be printed, saved as an html file, and sent to a support administrator. In this example, the first few items in the report are shown in the figure below.

Group policy results

Information Obtained in the Report

The report provides the following information:

  • Computer settings

  • User settings

Computer settings (applied to the computer on which the report is run)

  • Computer information including computer name, domain, site, and the last time Group Policy was applied.

  • Applied Group Policy Objects including both the friendly name such as "RemoteAssistance settings" and the Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) such as "{188E5222-0553-41EC-93D5-94CF5273D760}."

  • Security Group Membership when Group Policy was applied.

  • Startup Scripts.

  • Shutdown Scripts.

  • Security Settings – Restricted Groups.

  • Security Settings – File System.

  • Security Settings – Registry.

  • Programs Installed.

  • Programs listed in Add or Remove Programs.

  • Registry Settings.

User settings (applied to a specific user, whoever is logged onto the computer and running the report)

  • Applied Group Policy Objects (GPOs).

  • Security Group Membership when Group Policy was applied.

  • Internet Explorer Automatic Browser Configuration.

  • Internet Explorer Proxy Server Settings.

  • Logon Scripts.

  • Logoff Scripts.

  • Redirected Folders.

  • Programs Installed.

  • Programs listed in Add or Remove Programs.